|Greener and leaner council
Wigan Council’s carbon footprint has reduced by over 900 tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of driving 190 vehicles for a year, making it greener and leaner.
At a time when energy prices are increasing, this news will be welcomed by residents whose council aims to provide more effective and efficient services.
Wigan Borough residents have enjoyed the lowest Council Tax increase in Greater Manchester for seven years. Since The Deal launched in 2014, the average amount of unsecure debt in Wigan Borough has reduced by 12 per cent, from £12,262 in 2014 to £10,720 in 2016. It’s no wonder then that despite having to save £115m since 2010, more residents are happier with the council, with the latest survey showing that satisfaction with the council increased to 65 per cent, with 50 per cent of residents saying it provides value for money.
The annual carbon reduction report, which covers 2016/17, shows that 10,948 tonnes CO2 were emitted from council buildings and street lighting between 2016/17 – a reduction of seven per cent from last year. That’s despite the council gaining more sites as part of the transition of Wigan and Leigh Homes.
Under the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme, the council has to report on carbon emissions from the electricity and gas used in 170 buildings and its street lighting.
Not only is this news good for the environment but it’s also helped save the council £15,000 in carbon allowances.
Councillor Joanne Marshall, lead member for Greener Wigan, said:
“We’ve managed to reduce our emissions by working proactively to identify potential efficiencies in our buildings, including the heating, lighting and electrical services. The rollout of the LED street lighting scheme across the borough has also had a massive impact too.
“By improving the efficiency of our buildings we’re also able to minimise the council’s utility bills, allowing more money to be spent on frontline services. So despite living in an era of rising energy prices we’re still managing to provide an effective and value for money service for our residents.”
The council is well on its way of meeting its 30 per cent reduction in emissions target from its operational buildings by 2020.